2012 is upon us, and brings the promise of a presidential and congressional election. It brings us the promise of 366 days to accomplish things and measure our progress at the end. January 1 also brings with it the phenomenon of the New Year’s Resolution.
Many people choose goals such as working out, losing weight, or quitting smoking as benchmarks for their success. Others choose to be nicer to people, vow to find a better-paying job, or go on an exotic vacation.
I have a different take on the New Year’s resolution. This year, I have resolved to not make any resolutions. So far, it seems to be working well.
By resolving to not make a resolution, the chance at failure is minimized. Others have relatively high chances at not meeting their resoltion. For example, the resolution to quit smoking is often blown within the first hour after 12 midnight thanks to a tank full of beer and champagne.
Some may clap their hands to their heads and say “But if you don’t set a goal through a resolution, how can you know what you’ve accomplished?”
Success is intrinsically built in to making a resoltion to not make a resolution. As long as I do not make a New Year’s resolution, I have accomplished my goal. In fact, the only way I can fail is by creating a resoltion.
Others will decry non-resolution-making as not being measurable. Losing weight can be measured finitely in pounds, and nicotine patches come in increasingly lower doses to gradually bring you closer to your goal.
Again, I heartily dismiss this idea as poppycock. Each and every day that I go through without making a New Year’s resolution is another marker in my favor. Each day that I resolve to make no resolution brings me one step closer to the goal of 366.
Still others may say that a new year is a new start, and by making a resolution you acknowledge that you have this new start and intend to take full advantage of it.
Despite the fact that the calendar changed from December 31, 2011 to January 1, 2012, nothing is new about life in general. You will still have to deal with work, bills, family demands, personal problems, et cetera. These daily responsibilities do not go away. Even if you’re up for a promotion, a raise, better benefits (all of which are highly unlikely in this economy), your fresh start is still beholden to the daily grind of life.
In short, making a New Year’s resolution is overrated. More often than not, they go the way of the dodo within the first few months of the year. In fact, based on the Sunday circulars on January 1, it seems that sporting goods stores are almost counting on those New Year’s resolutions and their failure with sales on elipticals, treadmills, and weight sets.
People should not depend a date on a calandar or peer pressure to set goals for life accomplishments. I maintain that the very reason many New Year’s resolutions fail is because people make them thinking that it is just the thing to do when the ball drops at 12 midnight.
By refusing to cave to your friends and aquaintances, you are taking a stand against the perceived requirement of making a New Year’s resolution. You are resolving to buck the trend of making a pie crust promise. By simply refusing to accept that you need to make a resolution, you have resolved to be different, which is a laudable goal to achieve.